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How Accurate is the Stellarium Satellite Data?

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posted on Mar, 21 2012 @ 09:10 PM
The title pretty must says it all, but allow me to explain why I'm asking.

I've tried to spot maybe 15 satellite's using Stellarium, always looking for the gray colored ones that are marked as visible. Then while attempting this again tonight I watched a satellite flare up and glow just northwest of Venus. I literally ran inside to my laptop which was running Stellarium with the satellite tracking on, and there wasnt a satellite traveling in that location/direction. There were a few nearby but not where I saw it.

I am new to the software so I wrote it off as just not being accurate data, and regretfully didn't record the exact location & time, but it was close to 9pm EST, and right around Perseus. I guess you will have to take my word for it.

Just kind of makes you wonder how accurate the data is.

To answer the obvious question, yes Stellarium is set on the correct time and location.

Thanks in advance for any advice or thoughts on this.

posted on Mar, 21 2012 @ 09:24 PM
reply to post by samureyed

Stellarium is not using real-time tracking but rather known models of celestial movements and I believe the same is true of the satellite data reported on satellite tracking websites and in Stellarium too. It is accurate but probably not 100%. Hope it helps or someone else explains it better/knows different.

ETA I have no idea how often Stellarium updates its data (possibly with each new release?) or where it gets it from but to give another example, Google Sky uses at least some data and images that were captured in the 1980's or 1990's if memory serves (referring to info I read from Phage when people discover "OMG Aliens!" type glitches and make threads about it). Real time space imaging for the masses is not an easy thing to realise and I imagine NASA has more than enough on their plate without giving huge amounts of network traffic and data processing updates every 5 minutes to the world at large. Satellite bandwidth is not that great, certainly for the older ones. I did look it up a while ago but have forgotten the exact numbers. Just my uninformed knowledge from a bad 2 cent memory.

edit on 21/3/12 by LightSpeedDriver because: ETA

posted on Mar, 21 2012 @ 09:27 PM
Hey man,

Well, I'm a radio ham, and have chased satellites for years for communications. I can tell you, pretty much EVERY tracking program I've used has it's quirks.

I'd suggest you compare you readings to something on-line like NASA's J-track.

As sure as I always thought I did everything right....I didn't !

Good luck.
edit on 3/21/2012 by ctdannyd because: (no reason given)

posted on Mar, 21 2012 @ 09:30 PM
reply to post by ctdannyd

I don't know about the OP but reading your comments makes me feel better in knowing I'm not just hopeless on a simple thing. It isn't so simple after all.
I was starting to get downright depressed about it.

posted on Mar, 21 2012 @ 09:38 PM
reply to post by samureyed

Go to, at the top there is a link called FLYBYS enter your zip code it will tell you the visible satelites for your zip. Some satelites flare some don't. I usually use that when I something like this.

Sometimes it will answer your question. Sometimes it won't as I'm sure sometimes they flare when they normally don't and the tracker there won't list it.

Hope it helps

Be well

posted on Mar, 21 2012 @ 09:41 PM
reply to post by LightSpeedDriver

Thanks, I did attempt to update the tracking data but it was up to date. However there is a message that says 64 Missing Satellites which could perhaps account for the one I saw.

posted on Mar, 22 2012 @ 04:37 PM
Hi sky watchers.

This is my "sky site":

It works quite well. . . B-)

Blue skies.

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